1. sophia_esteed
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    sophia_esteed Senior Member

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    Problems developing the plot...

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by sophia_esteed, Apr 23, 2008.

    Hi, everybody.

    Together with a friend of mine, we're thinking on drawing a manga.
    My friend is in charge of the drawings and I'm in charge of the story.
    But I'm having troubles getting all the plot elements together.
    So I thought I would list them below and ask for some advice.
    Just a foreword: I thought I would model the structure after a japanese-style RPG like Namco-Bandai's Tales of series and Squenix's Final Fantasy series.
    Ok, here I go:

    -There is a war going on / about to break out between three powerful Nations;

    -The war is fought over a mysterious but powerful artifact known as "Tear";

    -A young hero is caught up in the mess and finds out he's a "Guardian", one who has been chosen by the planet to receive the Seven Elemental Spirits' blessings and save the planet in times of crisis;

    -For this purpose, amidst the chaos of war the young hero sets out on a journey of power-gathering;

    -At some point in the story, the hero finds out the villain is his long lost twin brother, from whom he was separated at birth;

    -The climax is when in the final confrontation the hero kills his brother.

    Other ideas:

    -Making two Nations waging war upon each other: the Empire of the Sacred Flame and the Rosemberg-Hohenheim Kingdom (not sure about the names) and a third Nation remain neutral but secretely scheming to manipulate the flow of war; this Nation is a theocracy (like Daat in Tales of the Abyss) and I thought it might be the hero's brother the one manipulating the Pope;

    -Making the nature of the "Tear" like that of Materia in FFVII or the Shards in FFXII; I thought there might be both lesser and greater Tears; the lesser ones used as power source to power up machines, produce electricity, heathing homes and such; the greater ones, I thought they might play the same role as the Crystals in FFIII and FFV or something;

    -I'm note sure if I should make the villain into a psycho like Sephiroth or a demonic-type or fallen-god-type like Sauron in LOTR;

    -I'm struggling to fit in the plot the fact that the hero attends a military academy like the Garden in FFVIII and as member of a special force (like SeeD) travels the world to gather the Seven Elemental Spirits' power;

    -Finally, it is proving very difficult giving 'shape' to the world in which the story unfolds: it is a world in which there are Spirits and such, and in which battles are fought with swords, but it is a world in which there are machines, so it cannot be too medieval, but not too contemporary either.

    PS

    I've been trying to write a fantasy novel using these same kind of elements for the past five years or so, so I've gathered a lot of material.
    I just need some advice on how to make the material into a story.

    EDIT:

    Another idea was to make the one who receives the power of the Seven Elemental Spirits a priestess, but I'm really at a loss if I should use this character instead of the other one... :confused:
     
  2. Vayda
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    Vayda Senior Member

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    Thoughts:

    -that DOES sound a lot like FF. How well will that work when you're just reading the story, as opposed to playing it?

    -be careful you don't pull in the copyrighted elements of FF. No Phoenix Downs!

    -You're shockingly similar to FFVII but I see no Aeris!! She was far too important of a character to the player to leave out - the story does not work without her.

    -If the anti-hero is a fallen god, wouldn't the hero be an exalted god?

    -how were they separated, who raised them, did they ever know their parents, or was it a luke/leia type separation? At what point do they know they're brothers? Is there a "Luke, I am your father" moment? Do they both know from the beginning?

    -if you've got elemental elements, and the planet itself is choosing things, then the planet should be striving for some kind of balance (it's just what planets do, you know). So for every guardian there would be an anti-guardian, which you've got...but where's the opposite of Tear? What are the anti-guardians anti-guarding?
     
  3. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    -Making two Nations waging war upon each other: the Empire of the Sacred Flame and the Rosemberg-Hohenheim Kingdom (not sure about the names) and a third Nation remain neutral but secretely scheming to manipulate the flow of war; this Nation is a theocracy (like Daat in Tales of the Abyss) and I thought it might be the hero's brother the one manipulating the Pope;
    (I like this one better than the first one, it opens up more story possibilities, but it will probably be harder to write because you have to keep track of subplots and you have to put yourself in the position of the conspirators in order to make sure their conspiracy makes sense, and in the position of the characters to see how much they could guess from the clues they get. You also have to carefully controll the timing of the clues. I would change pope to some other title though, unless you are making the catholic church part of your world.)

    -I'm struggling to fit in the plot the fact that the hero attends a military academy like the Garden in FFVIII and as member of a special force (like SeeD) travels the world to gather the Seven Elemental Spirits' power; (If you are planning on making the journey a secret one I don't think that would work because he would keep getting orders that throw him off the quest. Or mabey it would work, depends on how you handle it. Either way it makes it a lot more complicated.)

    -Finally, it is proving very difficult giving 'shape' to the world in which the story unfolds: it is a world in which there are Spirits and such, and in which battles are fought with swords, but it is a world in which there are machines, so it cannot be too medieval, but not too contemporary either. (In a FF type world you can ignore certain "world rules" You can have guns and swords in the same place and have them both work, you don't even need to explain why they work. You just need to make sure it works every time. Once you make a rule for your world you have to stick with it. Look at airships for example. Somehow they are still there alongside airplanes in FF even though they just don't work as well in real life.)
     
  4. free2dream
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    free2dream Member

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    Since this is going to be a manga, much of the storytelling will heavily rely on the art and the scene depictions. I wouldn't be too worried on minor details at the moment since the important part is the main spine of the plot-line. That should be concrete first.
    Hm, but I really should admit, this story sounds awfully similar to many past rpgs. The storyline doesn't sound too original but maybe, if you incorporate a different take on the characters and the following events, it'll come out actually refreshing. (but I guess, that would be hard)
    :p
    Your idea of the two nations battling each other while the neutral third party is actually the root of the conflict sounds interesting. I agree with CDRW, that probably is the better choice.
     
  5. David Jae
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    David Jae New Member

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    I like it

    ThIs story has a lot of potential, although you need to focus it somewhat.

    Consider writing a single line description that sums up your story and the conflict. This will keep you focused on what is important.

    Something like;

    "A Guardian, charged with protecting the Spirits of the World, fights against his Brother for the sake of his Kingdom and the World."

    This story does need more of a conflict, rather than just a war. Perhaps he has to overcome the prejudice against him by the other Guardians or that he is too angry or headstrong. He might have to locate the Tears, which are hidden inside people and taken them puts them into a Coma/steals their memories.

    This is a dilemma that your Hero will have to overcome, with no easy resolution, which is what good stories are made off.

    Hope this helps.

    David Jae
     

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